Can German Shepherds Swim?

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German shepherds are known for their athletic abilities and are preferred over many in police forces. They have a great sense of smell, and they are aggressive, challenging, and supremely alert.

This breed is known to be great at various categories, but you might want to do a little bit of research when it comes to swimming. It is lesser-known that German Shepherds are not natural at swimming and if you are thinking of going for a swim with them, you might want to prepare with them too.

You might have seen German Shepherds swim generally, but their breed is not made for swimming properly. However, since they have good energy storage, they are agile and fierce, and they can manage well in water. Although some might get a little afraid of the water, this is when you, as the guardian, have to make sure they are okay.

Therefore, if you think of taking them for a swim, several things should be known.

German shepherds swim
German shepherds swim

If you are patient with their abilities, German shepherds can be excellent swimmers. Teaching them something new would not be a chore because they are both enthusiastic and intelligent.

On this page:

  • Can German shepherds swim naturally?
  • Teaching GSDs how to swim 
  • Final Words

Can German shepherds swim naturally?

Many give in to how powerful and energetic the breed is and automatically assume them to be good swimmers. As guardians, it is essential to properly judge your dog and its traits before taking them off the land. You would also want to ensure that swimming is always safe for your German Shepherd (GSD).

To start with, always assume that your dog does not know about swimming and is naturally bad at it. Putting up questions like can German shepherds swim in cold water or can german shepherds swim to shore will help you create a safe environment for them. When you imagine your dog being scared of water, you automatically start making the surroundings safe for it.

Moreover, before you put them in any large water body, make sure they have shown you that they are not scared of water and can manage on their own. Start with small water bodies like a small lake or even a pond. This way, they will get time to get comfortable with water and gain confidence.

If they are showing signs of being scared of water and cannot swim, take charge and teach them a few simple swimming moves. Since they are intelligent creatures, anything you teach them would come quickly to them. However, keep patience and do not pressurize them as they may get scared of water for their whole life.

German Shepherds are known to learn swimming quickly if they don’t already know how to. Unless there is a significant injury, weak muscle, or a skeletal issue, you will not find it too hard to teach them.

When you put a German shepherd in water, you will notice how instinctively they start to flap their limbs and know what to do. This works out great for dog parents as passing on instructions could be difficult. Moreover, you should let them come to water instead of bringing them. This will help them mentally prepare what to do when in it.

German shepherd in the water
German shepherd in the water

Teaching GSDs how to swim 

When it comes to learning how to swim, keeping the student in the safest environment is essential. This applies to both human beings and dogs. You would never toss your kid in the water and assume that everything would be fine. You develop a strategy and try to build their confidence to the maximum extent.

While teaching your dog how to swim, it is essential to take all the proper steps. Even with a small mistake, you might scare them of water for their entire life. However, if you do it rightly, you will notice how quickly they would go flapping their limbs in the water.

So, what are the tips that you should religiously follow while teaching your dog to swim?

  • Safety vest: When teaching a young dog how to swim, make them wear a safety vest so that nothing goes wrong even if they turn out to be bad swimmers. 
  • Take the lead: To build confidence in your dog, you should take the lead and go into the water first. By watching you swim and splash water, they might want to join you. However, it is better not to force them even a bit if they don’t. 
  • Start with shallow water: The best way to teach a dog how to swim is to make them comfortable in water first. This can be done by taking them in shallow water. Once they wrap their heads around the fact that this is how it feels to be in the water, you can take them to a slightly deeper place as well. 
  • Keep the treats ready: No matter what you teach your doggo, giving them greed for pleasures will work out well for you. The same can happen during swim classes. Whenever you teach them a technique, give them a treat for adequately doing it. 

Final Words

German shepherds can be great swimmers if you are patient with their skills. Since they are pretty energetic and intelligent, teaching them anything new would not drag. Therefore, just a few classes and building up confidence should do the trick when it comes to swimming. However, if it does not work, it is better not to force swimming on them. They would be just fine even without it.

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